Eight Coworkers Claim Record Jackpot; photostory available
518
MILLION BACK TO
NEBRASKA
February 22, 2006 — A group of eight coworkers at the ConAgra Foods ham and corned beef plant in Lincoln, has claimed the record $365 million jackpot from the February 18 Powerball drawing.

A photostory synopsis of the week's events, complete with downloadable photos, is available here.

The group elected to take the cash option on the jackpot, valued at $177.3 million. Their respective shares will be $22,162,500. After withholding of 25 percent federal and 5 percent state tax, they will share $124.11 million or $15.5 million, respectively.

The members of the group are:
Quang Dao, 56
David Gehle, 53
Alain Maboussou, 26
Chasity Rutjens, 29
Robert Stewart, 30
Michael Terpstra, 47
Dung Tran, 34
Eric Zornes, 40

The group is represented by Lincoln attorney, James H. Hoppe.

Before presenting the group with their prize, Gov. Dave Heineman noted the attention generated by the record jackpot and said, “Since its inception, the Nebraska Lottery has quietly raised more than $244 million for its beneficiary funds like K-12 education.

“I am pleased to have an opportunity to meet this lucky group of hard-working Nebraskans and present them with their share of these winnings.

“Ladies and gentlemen, life just got a bit more interesting for eight Nebraskans.”

The group bought their winning ticket, one of eight (8) five-play quick pick tickets worth a total of $40, at U-Stop at 110 West “O” St., in Lincoln, at 3:09 p.m. on Friday, February 17.

Members of the group told Nebraska Lottery officials that some of them have been playing Powerball for up to five years, pooling their resources to buy multiple tickets whenever the jackpot eclipses $45 million. Each has contributed $5 at a time to buy a total of eight five-play quick pick tickets for each drawing. They noted the irony of waiting to play when their respective shares of the prize after taxes will be just more than $15 million, which is the minimum starting jackpot for Powerball.

Dung Tran typically bought the group’s tickets, usually at the same location. He learned of their winning ticket by checking the Nebraska Lottery Players Hotline (800-224-LUCK) at about 4:30 a.m. the morning after the drawing. The winning Powerball numbers for February 18 were: 15, 17, 43, 44, 48 and Powerball 29.

While none of the group has formulated specific plans for their prize, potential actions mentioned to Nebraska Lottery officials included, “Wash my truck,” “Pay bills”, “Get some sleep,” and, “Continue working temporarily” until their spot is filled.